The model I wanted was backordered in the color I needed (black). They had "beige," but "beige" was this fugly faded yellow color rather than true beige. It looked like it was once white, but sat in a sunny window for too many years. Today was a frustrating game that reminded me of the Monty Python Sketch, "The Cheese Shop." They had this model, but only in stainless steel, which was $100 more. Then they had this model, but only in beige. That model is back ordered. The other model was discontinued. And so on. I didn't want the el Cheapo washer, because I have one, and that's why it's sitting busted in my kitchen. But I couldn't fathom why someone would fork over $1,499 for one either. At that price, it better give me a blow job and bake me cakes once a week. I finally had to get a model that was more than I wanted to spend, to get it in black, in the size I needed, and still made by a reliable company. At least it's a nice Kenmore (I have had nothing but good luck with Kenmores my whole life), but I doubt I really need a computer to tell me how dirty my dishes are. I also doubt it will be accurate (those things rarely are). The salesperson "felt bad" and at least seemed frustrated because after the fourth time I couldn't get what I wanted, he said, "God DAMN!" when the computer went "biddly boop." He ended up knocking $25 off the price because I was so patient, or at least he played a good game if he was faking me up to higher model with more commission or something.
A crushing ego blow that hit me deeply was that I could not remember who wrote, "A Scanner Darkly," and I kept thinking it was Philip K. Dick, but the store didn't have that, and the spunky but clueless girl who helped me said it was by "Philip Blish or Brylock, one of the two," and I should have known better instead of nodding dumbly like Ralph on Santa's Lap in "A Christmas Story." "Uh huh... a football... that's what I want..." I should have said, "James Blish and James Braylock! Are you in-SANE?? Now, do you, or do you not, have Dick, madam??" It didn't help that 80% of the titles were names I didn't know.
I am so old and out of touch with the sci-fi motherland. I should turn in my propeller beanie (if I had one) and hand in my SMOF card (if one existed).
On top of this come another "you are a dumbass" moment. I get a lot of book gift cards for various reasons. Birthday, Christmas, freebies from clients, etc... the one I like is Borders (I think), because there are several nearby at places I frequent. The one I don't like is Walden's/Bentano's because there's only one close by, in Fair Oaks Mall, and its selection sucks harder than a starving plecostomus in a clean fish tank. Best of backlist, pop titles only, and the worst computer book selection this side of Prague. They still have "Mastering Windows 98," fer God's sake. I did get "Java for Dummies," which was in their "For Dummies" cardboard dump in the How-to section. I thought, "Okay, I'll buy it" because I needed to use the gift card.
Bzzzt! Wrong, dumbass! You have a "Barnes and Noble" gift card.
Brentanos, B. Balton, Barnes and Noble, and Borders. All major book store chains that start with the letter "B," and because of my dyslexic brain, they all lump together in some Sesame Street level "B is for BOOK" part of my child-like memory. I constantly make this mistake, and it makes me mad that I am this dumb. It also made the cashier mad, and in the same tone of voice a French chef uses when you ask for ketchup, she said, "This is WALDEN BOOKS," and the girl behind her curled her $8/hour part-time lip in a patronizing sneer. But what could I say? I made the mistake, not them. So I paid full price for a book I didn't really want that bad, AND had the humiliation of showing I didn't know one chain from another.
"You are all overpriced anyway," I wanted to say as I left to some John Williams score, "and the Internet will kill you all!!!' And I would laugh maniacally as thunder sounded, lights flashed, and crows took flight with a noisy and doom-filled, "Cawww!"